Monique: Hello everyone. Cate, thanks for having me.
I live in the UK and write contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and Speculative Christian Fantasy. I’ve been married to my husband for twenty years this year, and have four children—ages 20, 18, 14 & 7—and one little granddaughter.
I’ve been writing for twenty years (yes, I am tired lol) and have had stories published and read on radio. It wasn’t until early last year that I thought to approach the American market with my work. Boy, am I glad I did!
Cate: Tell us about your latest release, Let’s Pretend.
Monique: Let's Pretend is a contemporary miniature romantic comedy. Available now from The Wild Rose Press.
Cate: Such a pretty cover! Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Monique: Okay, here’s an excerpt:
She gave him a sexy smirk and bit the corner of her bottom lip. “I’m not sure if that’s a promise or a threat.”
He couldn’t be sure either. Every male hormone in his body urged him to kiss her good and hard, until she was begging him to make love to her, while the part of his brain responsible for logical thought—the part that wasn’t completely devoid of blood—told him to back off. If Belle hadn’t consumed so much wine, she wouldn’t have allowed things to get this far. And she’d never forgive him if he took advantage of her vulnerability tonight.
“Belle, I doubt you’ll remember doing this tomorrow.”
Her eyelids brushed down to half-mast as her gaze zeroed in on his mouth. She licked her lips in a slow, tormenting glide. “You have the most beautiful lips; do you know that?”
Luc gulped, then chuckled to cover the groan her compliment tore from him. Turning down Belle’s unspoken invitation was going to be harder than the organ in his trousers begging to get out. “Honey, let’s get you tucked into bed. You’ll feel better once you sleep this off.”
With a lethargic smile, she cupped the back of his head just as he started to turn her toward her bed, bringing his mouth to hers. When she pulled away, her dark blue eyes twinkled with mischief. “I know exactly what I’m doing, Luc.”
His good intentions went up in smoke as every part of him came alive. Just for tonight, he’d believe Belle wanted him as much as he longed for her. Just for tonight, he’d pretend everything was all right between them. But when tomorrow came he planned to win the battle for his marriage. Because Luc knew after this weekend, he’d never be able to give her up.
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Monique: I love reunion stories. I also think a lot of people quit on their marriages too soon. With this in mind, I wondered what could happen if such a couple—who are still in love—were to be thrown together for a few days, forced to become comrades in order to keep a secret that could cause a lot of distress to a potentially sick grandmother.
Cate: I love reunion stories too. :) How do you develop your plots and characters?
Monique: When I get an idea for a story, I usually let it swim around in my imagination for a while. I get to know my characters—their likes, dislikes, past emotional scars etc. Then I tell their story once I think I know them well enough. Each character has at least one aspect of me, whether it’s a trait or an experience and my plots develop out of my characters.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Monique: I work on several WIPs at a time, so I’d have too many characters hounding me if I didn’t keep them firmly in check! I’m not big on houseguests, so my characters stay in their own world. I know where to find them when I need them
Cate: What's next for you?
Monique: As I’ve said, I’m working on a few WIPs at the moment. My next story is another rom-com entitled More Than a Playboy for The Wild Rose Press Sweetheart line. Hopefully, I will get my release date soon. I am working on a few story ideas set in the same world as More Than a Playboy. We’ll see how they pan out. Harlequin Mills & Boon is currently considering the full of one of my stories and I’m working on another to send to them. And, of course, I’m working on two novels for the “Big Boys”...I know...aren’t we all?
Cate: Love that cover too! Those dimples (sigh). Any other published works?
Monique: Divorce Etiquette came out last November and is available from The Wild Rose Press.
Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Monique: Humorous, Emotive, and Feel-good
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Monique: Getting to The End is my biggest challenge. I’m fantastic at starting projects, which is why I always have so many on the go, but there’s something a little unnerving about finishing a book that gives me pause for thought.
The most rewarding aspect of writing is getting to the end of a story, then seeing it for sale!
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Monique: I don’t know whether this falls under ‘interesting’ but it still makes me feel pretty good that a fairly big crime author said this about my writing: “I think a lot of so-called literary writers would love to have your dialogue skills and your pace.” This is printed and stuck to the wall in my study. It’s a nice pick-me-up when I’m feeling utterly talentless.
Cate: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Monique: I don’t really have any favourite authors, I buy books that call to me. I love finding new authors to read. I think if I had a few favourites, I might miss out on all the amazing new authors out there in favour of sticking to my favourites.
At the moment I’m reading Juice Yourself Slim by Jason Vale and Marriage: For Business or Pleasure by Nicola Marsh.
Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
Monique: www.moniquedevere.co.uk, http://moniquedevere.blogspot.com/, http://twitter.com/MoniqueDeVere, http://www.facebook.com/moniquedevere.
Cate: Thanks for being my guest, Monique! Best of luck with all your projects.